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A Red Herring Without Mustard (Flavia de Luce #3)

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4.07  ·  Rating Details  ·  25,512 Ratings  ·  3,145 Reviews
Award-winning author Alan Bradley returns with another beguiling novel starring the insidiously clever and unflappable eleven-year-old sleuth Flavia de Luce. The precocious chemist with a passion for poisons uncovers a fresh slew of misdeeds in the hamlet of Bishop's Lacey--mysteries involving a missing tot, a fortune-teller, and a corpse in Flavia's own backyard.

Flavia ha
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Hardcover, 399 pages
Published February 8th 2011 by Delacorte Press (first published 2011)
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Can't Wait Books For 2011
124th out of 1,221 books — 6,920 voters
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44th out of 779 books — 878 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jeffrey Keeten
Nov 01, 2013 Jeffrey Keeten rated it really liked it
”ALONE AT LAST!
Whenever I’m with other people, part of me shrinks a little. Only when I am alone can I fully enjoy my own company.” Flavia de Luce


Flavia de Luce spends a lot of time by herself somewhat by choice and somewhat by her incompatibility with the rest of the household. She is the youngest of three daughters and is most decidedly lacking from any constructive supervision. Her father is a philatelist and spends most of his time intently examining stamps with a magnifying glass for those
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Judy
Feb 11, 2011 Judy rated it it was amazing
Full Disclosure--I'm in love with Flavia de Luce, the 11 year old who is deeply devoted to the study of chemistry, with a special interest in poisons, and an amateur sleuth. Flavia spends her time humoring her widowed father, who spends most of his time engrossed in stamp collecting, and bedeviling and avoiding her two older sisters--17 year old Ophelia whose passion is music and 13 year old Daphne whose passion is reading. In this third in the Flavia de Luce series, beginning with The Sweetness ...more
Crowinator
As always, a delight.

One-sentence summary: Flavia de Luce returns in her third mystery, investigating a long-ago missing child, the brutal attack on a gypsy fortune-teller, and a murdered local thug.

I feel like I've already said everything I need to about this series in my short reviews of the other two books. This one isn't any different -- it's delightful, charming, and funny, but it has dark undertones (her sisters' treatment of Flavia, which seems to be worse in this book; her father's abs
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Tatiana
Feb 19, 2011 Tatiana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all Flavia de Luce fans
If you are contemplating reading A Red Herring Without Mustard you probably already adore Flavia de Luce, a precocious 12-year old amateur sleuth. If you feel wishy-washy about the girl, don't expect her to undergo a major personality transformation in this book, Flavia remains the same smart, naive, sneaky, lying chemist/detective as she was in The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie and The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag. And I wouldn't have her any other way.

As such series go, whenever a
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Julie
Perhaps I took too long to read A Red Herring Without Mustard. If I'd zipped through it on sunny Sunday afternoon, the rambling plot would have been a trifle to be indulged instead of endured. About two-thirds of the way in, brakes were put on the pace and the exposition became redundant.

There were heaps of elements that I did love, namely Flavia and her irascible, invincible spirit. Bradley loves this little girl and taking care to round out her precociousness with vulnerability. Flavia is tak
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Shayantani Das
Mar 10, 2013 Shayantani Das rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: People who love flavia or other precocious yet not arrogant pre teens.
Recommended to Shayantani by: inoli and I can't thank him enough:)
I absolutely love Flavia, this precocious yet not obnoxious child sleuth has won over my heart, and I absolutely love her. Which is why I totally love this book, because it shows us a little more about Flavia. Behind the lab glasses and witty remarks, lies the heart of a small kid, who misses his mother, and is hurt by her sister’s hatred towards her. Some scenes were very very touching, and although really emotional scenes sometimes fail to move me, Flavia with her simple emotions almost made m ...more
Lisa Vegan
This was a wonderful book choice to transition me from 2011 to 2012.

Flavia is so much fun! She’s a hoot. But, with each book, I also find her more & more endearing. And she really makes me appreciate chemistry.

For the first time I’m enjoying Gladys as her own character, not just as an accoutrement of Flavia’s.

I would have preferred Roma to Gypsy, though this is historical fiction and I’m sure the term is more correctly used for this time and place. But then right away the word for horse was
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Felicia
Nov 26, 2013 Felicia rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
I loved the first book in this series, and was not disappointed in the followup, although there seemed to be a lot more sadness in the life of the precocious 11 year old Flavia this time. She is still an intrepid detective, and her fights with her sisters have some of the funniest lines I've read in years, but the dysfunction in the family had a very lonely edge to it that made it hard to have as much FUN. The depth of it, however, was really fascinating.

The mystery in this installment was very
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Michael
Apr 27, 2011 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, 2011, review
Review from Badelynge
This third outing of Alan Bradley's irrepressible Flavia De Luce gets the series back up to top form. Flavia saves the life of an old Gypsy fortune-teller who has been beaten and left for dead. Ok our young heroine had almost managed to burn her to a crisp the previous evening but the less said about such details the better. Flavia sets out to track down the assailant, trampling over several crime scenes in the process, bamboozling the local constabulary and driving her fami
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Richard Derus
Dec 03, 2011 Richard Derus rated it really liked it
Review: 53 of seventy-five
Title: [A RED HERRING WITHOUT MUSTARD]
Authors: [[ALAN BRADLEY]]
Rating: 4.125* of five

The Book Report: Flavia de Luce of Buckshaw, Bishop's Lacey, is in it up to her neck again in this third outing of Alan Bradley's wildly popular series. This time she burns down a gypsy woman's fortune-telling tent, takes the woman home over her father's presumed objections, and then finds the lady bludgeoned almost to death in her caravan.

Next up is a meeting with the gypsy's semi-esta
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L.M.
Aug 24, 2011 L.M. rated it it was amazing
I'm telling you I love these books so much I'm afraid to share them. I would be sad to hear anyone say anything negative about my girl Flavia. These are the Agatha Christie books for the young at heart. I absolutely adore them, and each is even better than the last.
Sandi
Feb 17, 2011 Sandi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely adore Flavia de Luce, a precocious 11 year old who tries to solve the murders that seem to be occuring quite frequently in the town of Bishop's Lacy. (I listen to audio, so forgive me if I spell things wrong.) Quite frankly, the little village has so many murders, I would think one would be safer living in South Los Angeles.

Reading A Red Herring Without Mustard, I realized what makes the character of Flavia so appealing. She is extremely intelligent, perhaps too much for her own go
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Twig
Mar 04, 2016 Twig rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I`ve read this book in one sitting and oh my dear Flavia, you are the most adorable 11 year old girl I`ve ever known!! ...more
Nikki
I'm somewhat torn on the subject of Flavia de Luce. I find the books fun to read, but the hail-fellow-well-met Englishness (as portrayed by a Canadian writer who never went to England prior to starting on the first book). It's just a total fantasy, and I can never tell how seriously people are taking it.

As for the mystery in this particular installment, I figured it out relatively quickly, but it's still fun to follow along, and I love that the main character is a young girl who is fascinated wi
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Brooke
Sep 24, 2015 Brooke rated it it was amazing
4.5 rating!

Another wonderful installment to this series written by one of the BEST storytellers I've come across!!

Aleshanee
Jan 24, 2016 Aleshanee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3,5 Sterne

Also die Cover sind wirklich toll gemacht! Ich liebe ja Scherenschnitte und die Stimmung der Bücher wird da wunderbar transportiert - leicht morbide und mit einer guten Portion trockenem Humor. Der Autor ist sich auch im dritten Band seinem Schema gleichgeblieben. Der Schreibstil ist wirklich was besonderes und aus der Sicht von Flavia eine erfrischende Abwechslung.

Nur wenige Monate nach dem Mord an dem Puppenspieler stolpert die 11jährige Flavia wieder über eine Leiche. Dieses Mal hä
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Kathy
Fearing that the first word that comes to mind for this review is inadequate, I hesitate to use the word "delightful" in describing the character of Flavia de Luce and the books in which she stars, but delightful she is and they are. I am simply smitten with this enchanting series from Alan Bradley. He doesn't miss a beat with this latest addition to the tale of an eleven year old precocious girl who has her own chemistry lab and an uncanny knack for uncovering puzzling clues and solving mysteri ...more
Joanie
May 16, 2011 Joanie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Since I was still half expecting a dagger to be plunged between my shoulder blades, I'm afraid I did not return her hug, which I received in stiff silence, rather like one of the sentries at Buckingham Palace pretending he doesn't notice the liberties being taken by an excessively affectionate tourist.

To say I'm a fan of this series would be an understatement.

Flavia de Luce is one of my favourite protagonists around. An 11-year old girl with a flair for chemistry and sleuthing, she possesses the
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Stacey
Oh Flavia, you poor, silly child.

I just love Flavia, with her "I'm so clever" attitude, and her youthful misinterpretation of all the adults around her. Bradley does a wonderful job, as usual, of portraying Flavia as an obnoxious, precocious and neglected little girl, who thinks she knows all-sees all, but is still just a child.

There's still a mystery concerning her mother, I suppose Bradley isn't going to hand us that one anytime soon. In the meantime, he gives us another dead body, more chemi
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Amritha
May 15, 2016 Amritha rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed the first two books of this series. This one is not as good as the first two ones where the mystery is concerned but then I don't read it for the mystery. Flavia, the precocious 11 year old chemistry enthusiast and her antics are what keeps drawing me to the series. We have a gypsy, an attempt to murder, a murder, a few creepy people and Flavia roaming around the country side on Gladys and pulling one over the policemen. In this book we get to know Flavia a bit more, her lon ...more
Barbara ★
I only picked this book up as it was a winner in the 2011 Goodreads Choice Awards and I'm doing a challenge based on that list. I think I might have enjoyed this more when I was a teenager. At this stage of my life, I found it rather childish and unbelievable. The heroine is an 11 year-old girl after all. There was so much miscellaneous information (Flavia is a self-proclaimed know-it-all) that I totally lost track of the mystery and had difficultly keeping in mind who/what/why she was chasing c ...more
Elisabeth
Jan 27, 2015 Elisabeth rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. I definitely liked the mystery plot of this one better than the previous book. Yet I always find myself asking, what is it that keeps me reading this series? For frankly, child genius Flavia isn't always the most loveable character: consistently fascinated with the morbid and gruesome, coolly fibbing her way in and out of sticky situations and withholding evidence from the local police inspector to get even with him for treating her like a little girl. Even Alan Bradley's writing, wit ...more
Book Concierge
Book on CD performed by Jayne Entwistle
4****

The third installment in this series starring a precocious 11-year-old chemistry wizard finds our heroine, Flavia de Luce, caught up with an old gypsy woman and her granddaughter.

I really enjoy this series, and this one is quite good. Bradley puts far less emphasis on Flavia’s chemistry wizardry, and relies more on her indomitable spirit, her curiosity, grace under pressure, quick thinking, and ability to lie through her teeth. Yes, her sisters contin
...more
Carol
Jul 16, 2012 Carol rated it really liked it
Eleven year old Flavia de Luce solves another mystery of a murder, an assault on a fortune teller and a buried baby, all on her backyard. She is beginning to sound like she lives in my neighborhood in Baltimore instead of an idyllic 1950's English country side of Bishop's Lacey. There is one hilarious bit in which she daydreams about how she will be showered with adulation by the police when she digs up important clues only later to be told she has contaminated the crime scene. And when she is t ...more
Carolyn Hill
Mar 28, 2011 Carolyn Hill rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Kathy Stewart
The best of the series so far. With a gypsy fortune-teller, an underground religious sect, antique forgeries, an unknown family portrait, a vicious attack, and a murder at the Poseidon fountain, the plot bubbles over with intriguing dynamics like a boiling beaker in one of Flavia's chemical experiments. The irrepressible voice of eleven-year-old Flavia lifts this series way above the norm for English cozy mysteries. Despite her acid tongue, I found her more sympathetic in this book as she shows ...more
Nicole
Feb 08, 2016 Nicole rated it it was amazing
Flavia is so obnoxious but I love her anyway. She's the kind of kid I wanted to be when I was 11, but didn't have the courage. That was probably for the best.

This time we have gypsies(!), more murder, and secret tunnels. So. Much. Fun. I'm forcing myself to listen to something else before I start the 4th book - otherwise I'm going to run out of books in the series. And then I will be very, very sad.

As always, the audio version with Jayne Entwistle is fabulous.
David
Aug 27, 2010 David rated it it was amazing
Flavia de Luce is back and in top form in this third in Alan Bradley's delightful series that began with Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. "Red Herring" was every bit as fun as Sweetness. Flavia is plucky as ever, roaming through the halls of her father's manor, conconting chemical brews and tricks to rorment her sisters, chatting with her ever-faithful bicycle Gladys, and, of course beating the local constabulary to the solution of crimes, murders, and mysteries. More is revealed of Falvia's ...more
Emilie
Dec 25, 2015 Emilie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Periksiantamaton ja täysin tottelematon Flavia De Luce ihastutti jälleen!

Tämä oli minusta tähän asti ehdottomasti paras Flavia-kirja. Pidin huikeasti mustalaisteemasta, jonka ohella Flavian groteski maailma tuli kulmikkaammin esiin. Tämänkin kirjan tunnelma oli hämmentävän viihdyttävä, samalla kun ihmispoloisten kohtalot olivat karmaisevia.

Pidin paljon siitä, että murhamysteerien rinnalla Flavian äidin menneisyys aukenee lukijalle (ja Flavialle) pikkuhiljaa, mutta sen sijaan Flavian jäätävä suh
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Alissa
Feb 23, 2011 Alissa rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Flavia is at it again, and it was a true delight to follow her through this mystery. The constant battle with her sisters, the desire for her murder solving skills to be recognized and appreciated by Inspector Hewitt, and her grief over the mother she's never known, are some of the continuing threads of Flavia's personal story that allowed me more of an insight into her character. This along with her brilliant mind and ability to solve the mystery kept me reading long after I should have put the ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • The Mapping of Love and Death (Maisie Dobbs, #7)
  • The Case of the Gypsy Good-Bye (Enola Holmes, #6)
  • The Language of Bees (Mary Russell, #9)
  • The Twelve Clues of Christmas (Her Royal Spyness Mysteries, #6)
  • On the Loose (Bryant & May, #7)
  • The Fleet Street Murders (Charles Lenox Mysteries, #3)
  • Wings of Fire (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #2)
  • Bellfield Hall (A Dido Kent Mystery, #1)
  • The Brutal Telling (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #5)
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

With an education in electronic engineering, Alan worked at numerous radio and television stations in Ontario, and at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute (now Ryerson University) in Toronto, before becoming Director of Television Engineering in the media centre at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, where
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More about Alan Bradley...

Other Books in the Series

Flavia de Luce (8 books)
  • The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Flavia de Luce, #1)
  • The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag (Flavia de Luce, #2)
  • I Am Half-Sick of Shadows (Flavia De Luce, #4)
  • Speaking from Among the Bones (Flavia de Luce, #5 )
  • The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches (Flavia de Luce, #6)
  • As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust (Flavia de Luce, #7)
  • Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd (Flavia de Luce, #8)

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“Whenever I'm with other people, part of me shrinks a little. Only when I am alone can I fully enjoy my own company.” 180 likes
“Compared with my life Cinderella was a spoiled brat.” 34 likes
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